This week’s Bandcamping features a selection of very different albums, which got me thinking about compilations, which bring songs from different sources together under one umbrella for a singular release. The way I see it, there are two different kind of compilation albums: Single-artist and multi-artist. I generally avoid single-artist compilation albums (usually “greatest hits” albums) because it strips the songs of their original context, which can be a part of their charm if their source album is strong. That said, compilations from early recorded music, when the album wasn’t the prominent format we know today, are valuable.
I’m down for a strongly-compiled multi-artist mix, though. A few that come to mind are the two The DFA Remixes albums and the Anthology of American Folk Music, because both bring music from different sources that have a similar aesthetic under one roof, and together, the songs are stronger.
Do you have a favorite compilation album? Maybe a killer movie soundtrack? Check out this week’s Bandcamp albums below, then let us know in the comments.
5. Mama by Camp Youth
Genre: indie rock, indie pop
If you like: Lady Lamb, Wild Nothing, Best Coast
Camp Youth is the kind of group you’d see playing at a music festival and be distracted from your current course of action in order to check ’em out. Their sound is super sunny and simple, but that doesn’t stop it from commanding attention and having depth.
4. Fuzz Fiction by Fuzz Fiction
Genre: indie rock, garage rock
If you like: The White Stripes, Cage The Elephant, Alabama Shakes
Ultimately, there’s always going to be a need for fuzzed-out garage rock, and Fuzz Fiction is the latest group to give us a strong dose of it. The Canadian band makes songs that are vibrantly rooted in surf rock and punk traditions, and the record sounds like it could have been made at any time in the past 40 years, which is a great thing (think “timelessness”).
3. Sold Out Sunset by Upseen
Genre: indie rock, indie pop
If you like: Local Natives, Vampire Weekend, Real Estate
This French group has a sound that’s hard to pin down to one locale. They’d fit in with the American indie scene, but there are also hints of tradition Brazilian music (MPB), and the romance of their homeland finds its way in there too. It’s a super musical listen that should suit a variety of moods expertly.
2. OMM by Voodoo Doll, OKM
Genre: alternative hip-hop, trap
If you like: Drake, A$AP Rocky, Yung Lean
Canadian hip-hop is having a real moment, and this new effort from Voodoo Doll and OKM shows that the genre has more to offer beyond the popular stuff. OMM combines influences from more mainstream styles with more lo-fi and underground elements, resulting in a product that’s accessible but adventurous.
1. Dreamstate by Horace Bray
Genre: jazz, jazz fusion
If you like: BADBADNOTGOOD
Here’s to hoping that BADBADNOTGOOD is paving the way to a more widespread acceptance of contemporary, accessible jazz music, like that on the Texas-based Horace Bray’s new album. It’s musically ambitious and wandering, but grounded enough to please people who claim they don’t “get” jazz.
Lonely Gull by Starar
Genre: indie rock, 60s pop, lo-fi
If you like: Ariel Pink, The Beach Boys
Seaside (Part 1) by Oldtwig
Genre: downtempo, electronic, instrumental hip-hop
If you like: Blockhead, Sigur Rós, Sound Tribe Sector 9
That’s all for now, but until next week, let us know in the comments which of these albums were your favorites, what we missed, and what we should look forward to. If you missed out on last week’s list, you can find it here (and the complete Bandcamping archives are here).